Raiders open season with brand new look

Raiders open season with brand new look

Shea’s Anibal Santos Lima, left, jumps in front of a group of players to head the ball closer to the Classical net during last week’s Division I game at the Morro Athletic Complex in Providence. The host Purple defeated the Raiders, 1-0. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)
Boys’ soccer team hopes newcomers help Shea net another winning record, return to playoffs

PROVIDENCE – After a challenging 2017 season, the Shea High boys’ soccer team is eager to turn things around this year, despite bringing back only five returning players and having a roster that’s almost completely new.

“Last year was the worst that I had since I took over the boys’ job in 2003,” said Shea boys’ head coach Pierre Ridore, whose team posted a 7-6-1 record and failed to reach the quarterfinals of the state playoffs for the first time in five years. “It was the worst season. Nothing went right.”

As for this season, “I’m trying to forget about (last year) and start over,” said Ridore. “And most of the players that we have are new, so hopefully, we can try to change the culture from last year, have more discipline, and do the right thing all the time.”

The Raiders graduated 14 seniors, one of their largest classes in a number of seasons, but Ridore said they don’t have that many seniors this year. He said they are “starting fresh.”

One of the returners is senior goalkeeper Ednilson Tavares, who has been a four-year starter and is a captain. Ridore said that he is looking for Tavares to have a good season.

The Raiders also have some standouts who are completely new to the team.

“Keep an eye on (sophomore) Busime Yosta,” remarked Ridore. “He’s probably our best player. I believe he was from the Congo before he came here, and he doesn’t speak any other language than Swahili, but he’s a super nice kid and a really talented player.”

Ridore also highlighted seniors Anibal Santos Lima and Cristian Rodriguez Ordonez.

“They’re good players,” he added. “But we’re just still trying to learn to play together. We have kids from all over the place. Some of our kids are from Cape Verde, the Congo, Ecuador, and a couple of countries from South America. We’re still trying to blend and learn each other’s style of play and get to one style.”

That style was put on display, as the Raiders opened up their Division I season at Classical last Tuesday, Sept. 4. They were able to handle the ball and take eight shots on goal, but the Purple came away with a 1-0 victory by scoring their goal early in the second half. Tavares stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced.

“Since Classical moved up to D-I (two years ago), we haven’t beaten them,” Ridore said. “They always give us a good challenge because they are so organized and they play the game the right way. They play their positions, they hustle, and they play hard.”

Ridore knows there is still much to learn in the young season. He realizes his players will take their lumps, being very young and in D-I, but he’s hopeful they can get it together and return to the playoffs.

“I’m just hoping by the end of the season, we’re gelling and playing our best soccer, and we can make a run in the playoffs,” Ridore added. “I think we have enough talent to do it, but will we? That’s the question.”

The Raiders will host Portsmouth at Max Read Field on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Sophomore Busime Yosta, shown settling the ball during last week’s season opener against Classical in Providence, is one of the young players to watch on this season’s Shea High boys’ soccer team. The Raiders will host Portsmouth on Friday, at 5:30 p.m., at Max Read Field.